Photo credit Tracy Troxel

Cultivating cooperation for the betterment of our communities

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. -Bertrand Russell

What is the goal of all true educational settings? To mold, teach and watch our students transform into independent thinkers that will make our communities and ultimately the world a better place. While there are many milestones along this path, one of the most exciting is the culmination of years of study and growth – graduations. This past weekend, I was so excited to be a witness to this rite of passage for Margaretta High School’s Class of 2016.

Along with my colleagues from EHOVE and BGSU Firelands, I watched as 80 members of the Class of 2016 received words of wisdom along with their diplomas. I was truly impressed with the level of maturity and respect shown by the graduates. In particular, the two students addressing their peers in the senior reflection (Brent Lander) and the class address (Gabriella Fish) were well-spoken, personable and engaging – showing that Millennials are more than the stereo-types we hear about in the news. I am proud to know that our future will be in the hands of these young adults.

Margaretta graduation
Dr. Andrew Kurtz – Dean, BGSU Firelands, Dr. Jerome Webster – President, Terra State Community College, Erika Beckman – Principal, EHOVE Career Center, Rod Smith – Principal, Margaretta Middle/High School

Being included in this ceremony is something I value because the success of any community comes down to cooperation and partnerships. Terra State Community College is proud to have this with the Margaretta Schools along with many other surrounding high schools. By working together, we can ensure the success of all of our students and reach that ultimate goal I mentioned earlier.


An exciting opportunity relatively new to Ohio students in grades 7-12 is the College Credit Plus program. The purpose of this program is to promote rigorous academic pursuits while providing a wide variety of options to college-ready students by helping them earn college and high school credits at the same time. Terra State is one higher education institution that has a thriving CCP program offered at no cost to the student and with the flexibility of both seated and online courses.

Two students from Margaretta took advantage of the CCP program through Terra State this past year – freshman Bailey Artino and senior Meredith Troxel.

Bailey completed two online classes, Art Appreciation and American History II, and is ready for more this year. She says Terra State “seemed like a really good school” and after her first year is happy with her choice. Although young, she already has plans for her future which include earning as many college credits as she can while still in high school. Eventually Bailey would like to pursue a career in education focusing on younger ages. Living in Vickery, she said she choose Terra State because it is close and when she does get her driver’s license, she can take more classes on campus.

Meredith, a member of the Margaretta Class of 2016, is thrilled she was able to earn college credit while in high school which puts her ahead when entering BGSU this fall. She chose Terra State because her family recommended it and she thinks the campus is really nice. While she’s taken many courses at Terra State, her favorites were Digital Photography and Creative Writing. Meredith is ready to take on new challenges and is looking forward to continuing her studies while paying it forward with this advice to future CCP students – plan your schedule to make sure you have the flexibility you need for your classes, activities, work, along with time for homework and studying. Excellent advice in my opinion.

On behalf of Terra State, I would like to congratulate all the students graduating this year and wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors. As part of a larger community, Terra State embraces the notion that cooperation is the key to ensuring our students future successes and we look forward to maintaining our mission of being a catalyst for prosperity by providing quality learning experiences while promoting our core values of relationships, learning, integrity and innovation.

For more information on the College Credit Plus program at Terra State, contact one of our CCP student success mentors at 419.559.2349 or email You can also visit our website

Special thanks to Jilly Burns with the Sandusky Register for use of her photos. To see more of her photos of the Margaretta High School graduation and to read her write up, click here.